Niki in the Garden

Antonio Gaudi’s Park Güell in Barcelona (see previous posts) has inspired many, including French-American artist Niki Saint Phalle, who created her own interactive gardens of art, combining both artistic and natural elements. Several years ago I took my daughters to see a traveling exhibit of her wonderfully whimsical mosaics at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. They enjoyed exploring and interacting with the sculptures, while identifying the wide array of textures and colorful materials, including ceramics, glass, mirrors and stones.

Currently, many of the works seen in Chicago are on display in the New York public art exhibit Niki de Saint Phalle on Park Avenue.


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Flowers of Park Güell

I visited Antoni Gaudi’s Park Güell twice while I was in Barcelona, so that I could have time to fully enjoy all aspects of its beauty.  The mosaics (see last post), architecture, and landscape of this park are amazing. Gaudi incorporated natural forms in all aspects of the design. Cascades of blossoms among the structures and a lush field of flowers are among the many natural treasures to enjoy while strolling the grounds.

Mosaics of Park Güell

Park Güell was the last private commission of Antoni Gaudi, which he worked on from 1900 -1914, prior to his beginning La Sagrada Familia (see last post). Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudi  to design the entry and park grounds for an exclusive development for Barcelona’s aristocracy. Though the development failed, it is now a public park for all to enjoy. Here is  just a small sample of the variety of beautiful colorful mosaics I discovered on the grounds of Park Güell.


La Sagrada Familia – Color, Pattern and Texture

During my recent visit to Barcelona, I visited La Sagrada Familia, a cathedral and master piece of design and architecture. Designed by Antoni Gaudi in 1883 and funded solely by donations, La Sagrada Familia has had ongoing construction for over a hundred years (projected finish in 2026–100 years after Gaudi’s death). The beauty of the church is incredible; everywhere you look there is something to inspire. You can enjoy a virtual tour by visiting Sagrada Familia tour, but here are just a few of the images of the colors, patterns, and textures that captured my attention.


More Lichen Beauty

“Lichen Rainbow”, Red Canyon, Utah photo by  Alan Grinberg

Lichens, Burgess Lake  from Montana Outdoors

Lichen Fields, California photo by Sylvia Sharnoff

I was so inspired by the color and texture of the lichen that I discovered last week  on National Geographic, I felt compelled to do more research. These are my newest additions to my inspiration library. I hope they will inspire you too.

Lichen Beauty

Lichen on Slate Photograph by Sylvia Sharnoff

While  searching for inspiration in rock formations, I came across this amazing image of lichen on slate featured on National Geographic.  The colors and textures are amazing. Lichen is my newest addition to my list of nature’s artistry.

Color in Nature

Dallol Volcano, Ethiopia                                                      Photograph by Carsten Peter

Blue Hole, Belize                                                                    Photograph by David Boubile

I am always on the lookout for inspiration for my art.  These amazing images from National Geographic have me searching through my  gemstones to find the perfect combination of colors and textures to reflect their stunning dynamics.

If you would like to see my nature inspired mosaic art jewelry please visit  Gray Raven Designs.


The Art of Neutrals

The term neutral is often defined as achromatic, meaning colors lacking hue, such as gray, black, or white. While most people understand that blacks, whites and grays are neutral colors, in art, fashion and design, many other colors have been described as neutral, including browns, beiges, and navy blue. Metallics such as gold, silver, pewter and bronze are often considered part of a neutral palette. Pinks, blushes and even reds can sometimes be considered neutral, in that red it can hold its own with many other colors.

Wendy uses neutrals in many different ways in Gray Raven Designs. The pendant above is made from a completely neutral palette in whites, featuring pearls and labradorite. The pendant to the right, by contrast, shows how a neutral such as the black labradorite can accentuate the bolder reds and oranges of the carnelian and calcite stones.

Both these pieces are part of Gray Raven Designs landscape pendant collection. Click on the photo to purchase one of these pieces.